Cemex SAB de CV (NYSE: CX) and Vulcan Materials (NYSE:VMC) are both large-cap construction companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, dividends, profitability, earnings, analyst recommendations, risk and valuation.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

40.4% of Cemex SAB de CV shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 89.1% of Vulcan Materials shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.0% of Cemex SAB de CV shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 0.9% of Vulcan Materials shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Cemex SAB de CV and Vulcan Materials, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Cemex SAB de CV 0 3 4 1 2.75
Vulcan Materials 0 2 4 0 2.67

Cemex SAB de CV presently has a consensus target price of $10.46, suggesting a potential upside of 43.52%. Vulcan Materials has a consensus target price of $140.00, suggesting a potential upside of 14.09%. Given Cemex SAB de CV’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, research analysts clearly believe Cemex SAB de CV is more favorable than Vulcan Materials.

Dividends

Vulcan Materials pays an annual dividend of $1.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.8%. Cemex SAB de CV does not pay a dividend. Vulcan Materials pays out 35.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Cemex SAB de CV has raised its dividend for 3 consecutive years.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Cemex SAB de CV and Vulcan Materials’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Cemex SAB de CV $13.40 billion 0.79 $752.16 million $0.76 9.53
Vulcan Materials $3.59 billion 4.52 $419.49 million $2.86 42.91

Cemex SAB de CV has higher revenue and earnings than Vulcan Materials. Cemex SAB de CV is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Vulcan Materials, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Cemex SAB de CV and Vulcan Materials’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Cemex SAB de CV 8.38% 8.71% 3.10%
Vulcan Materials 10.20% 8.71% 4.38%

Volatility and Risk

Cemex SAB de CV has a beta of 1.31, indicating that its stock price is 31% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Vulcan Materials has a beta of 0.88, indicating that its stock price is 12% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Cemex SAB de CV beats Vulcan Materials on 9 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Cemex SAB de CV

CEMEX, S.A.B. de C.V. (CEMEX) is an operating and holding company engaged, directly or indirectly, through its operating subsidiaries, primarily in the production, distribution, marketing and sale of cement, ready-mix concrete, aggregates, clinker and other construction materials throughout the world, and that provides construction-related services to customers and communities in over 50 countries throughout the world. The Company operates in various locations, including Mexico, the United States, Europe, South America, Central America, the Caribbean, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Its cement production facilities are located in Mexico, the United States, Spain, Egypt, Germany, Colombia, the Philippines, Poland, the Dominican Republic, the United Kingdom, Panama, Latvia, Puerto Rico, Thailand, Costa Rica and Nicaragua. The Company is a supplier of aggregates, primarily the crushed stone, sand and gravel, used in various forms of construction.

About Vulcan Materials

Vulcan Materials Company is a supplier of construction aggregates (primarily crushed stone, sand and gravel) and a producer of asphalt mix and ready-mixed concrete. The Company operates through four segments: Aggregates, Asphalt Mix, Concrete and Calcium. The Aggregates segment produces and sells aggregates (crushed stone, sand and gravel, sand, and other aggregates) and related products and services (transportation and other). The Company produces and sells asphalt mix in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas. The Company produces and sells ready-mixed concrete in Georgia, Maryland, New Mexico, Texas, Virginia, Washington District of Columbia and the Bahamas. The Calcium segment consists of a Florida facility that mines, produces and sells calcium products. As of December 31, 2016, it had 337 active aggregates facilities. The Company sells aggregates that are used as ballast for construction and maintenance of railroad tracks.

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